Skip to main content

Channel Surfing: Clooney Returns to "ER," Gondry Directs "Conchords," Patti LuPone Heads to "30 Rock," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. I'm sure many of us didn't get a very good night's sleep after the last night brought us the two-hour premiere of Lost, new installments of Damages and Top Chef, and the launch of FOX's Lie to Me. Since when did Wednesday become the go-to night for top-notch television programming?

George Clooney is filming scenes this week on NBC's ER, where he will reprise his role as Dr. Doug Ross. He last appeared on the series in an uncredited cameo in 2000. No word on whether he'll bring Ross' Caesar cut with him. (Entertainment Tonight)

Season Two of HBO's Flight of the Conchords has lined up a host of intriguing guest stars including Saturday Night Live's Kristin Wiig, My Boys' Jim Gaffigan, and Lost's Alan Dale. Also of note: Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) directed the February 15th episode, in which Jemaine dates an Australian (shock horror!). (Chicago Tribune's The Watcher)

Patti LuPone has been cast in an upcoming episode of NBC's 30 Rock, where she will play the mother of TGS staffer Frank. (Yes, really, Frank.) Lupone was most recently seen on the small screen on ABC's Ugly Betty, where she played the mother of Michael Urie's Marc. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

ABC is keeping Samantha Who? benched until this spring; the comedy series was originally supposed to return on January 12th but the timeslot will now be filled by two-hour editions of reality series The Bachelor through its entire run, concluding March 2nd, and by two-hour editions of Dancing With the Stars to air March 9th, March 16th, and March 23rd. (Futon Critic)

NBC is said to be considering a sequel or potential primetime spin-off of Sunday night's miniseries The Last Templar. Should the Peacock order a sequel to the four-hour mini--which stars Scott Foley and Mira Sorvino, it would be set in India. (Hollywood Reporter)

UK network Sky1 has acquired exclusive free and basic TV rights plus non-exclusive VOD and download-to-own rights to FOX's Lie to Me, which launched Stateside last night. Sky1 plans to launch the series in the spring. (Variety)

Hilary Duff has been cast in an upcoming episode of CBS' Ghost Whisperer, where she will play a mysterious woman who may have been involved in a man's death. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

USA has pushed the launch of Season Eight of Law & Order: Criminal Intent once again, this time until this summer. Season Eight, featuring Jeff Goldblum as Detective Zach Nichols (taking over for Chris Noth), was originally to launch in November 2008, three months after the end of the seventh season; in both cases, the explanation given was the cabler's wish to air all sixteen episodes of Season Eight in a row. (TV Guide)

NBC has hired outside marketing firm Naked Communications to revamp its brand. "We're thinking about how we market the brand, how we present ourselves to the advertising community at upfront and how we present ourselves to the consumer," said Adam Stotsky, president of entertainment marketing at NBC. "Naked is working with us to sharpen our image, (as we) look for a fresh perspective on how we go to market." (Variety)

Reality television employees have settled a class action suit against FOX, CBS, ABC, and several production companies including Rocket Science Laboratories to the tune of more than $4 million dollars. The action, filed in 2005, alleged that the defendants violated wage and hour laws by underpaying story department employees and failed to provide meal periods or maintain accurate payroll records. (Variety)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Argh. There's too much on Wednesday nights now with Lost, Damages, and Top Chef! I really wish they at least would have scheduled Lost and Damages on two separate nights. They are two of my favorite shows but it's tough watching both in one evening. Too much drama!
Anonymous said…
I love Kristin Wiig and can't wait to see her on Conchords. And I think it's fantastic that Michel Gondry directed an episode!

Popular posts from this blog

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous seas

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

Me Want Food: Jenna Gets Famously Fat on "30 Rock"

I don't know about you, but I've already ordered my "Me Want Food" t-shirt from the NBC store. Last night's episode of 30 Rock ("Jack Gets in the Game") was, in my opinion, one of the strongest of the series and has officially pushed the zany comedy into the realm of Arrested Development : deftly plotted and intricately layered, with so many jokes piled atop of jokes that it requires several viewings in order to catch them all. While at its heart, 30 Rock is a workplace comedy, it's left that narrow pigeonhole behind to become a witty example of how intelligent and taut humor can work (and flourish) on television... and exist in harmony with hilarious throwaways like the Thriller -inspired Werewolf Bar Mitzvah music video that would have done the AD crew proud. I want Will Arnett to appear on this series whenever possible. His gay exec Devin is hilarious, manipulative, and has an inexplicable weakness for Kenneth the Page, but he claims to have